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You may be shocked reading this and I’m sort of embarrassed to admit it, but I remember a time when I was almost convinced that chocolate milk came from brown cows.
Hopefully, you know that chocolate milk does not come from brown cows and to make chocolate milk, you need milk, cocoa and sugar. However, The Washington Post wrote an article stating, “Seven percent of all American adults believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows”.
You’re probably thinking to yourself, how can this be? But before I fell in love with a farm boy and before I had any experience working with cows, I was a gullible teenage girl with absolutely no farm background.
I was at our summer church camp in the cafeteria waiting in line for my meal. When one of the local farm boys thought he was being funny by telling me that chocolate milk comes from brown cows. I disagreed with him, but then as he began asking the other farm boys, they joined forces and told me that chocolate milk comes from brown cows, I wasn’t so sure of myself. Hey don’t laugh too hard, they were farm boys and should know, right?!
Needless to say, those teenage farm boys got a good laugh from my agriculture illiteracy. But now as a farmer’s wife with much more knowledge about farming than back in my teenage days, I’m seeing that many American adults and children are ag illiterate. They don’t know that pickles are made from cucumbers, that cheese is made with milk, that hamburgers come from cows, and that bunnies do not lay eggs.
If you are puzzled about agriculture, here are 3 helpful steps:
1. Purchase food from your local farmer: This allows you and your children to learn, appreciate and respect where your food comes from.
2. Cook: Cooking is a simple way for your children to learn about food. Examples: you have to add cocoa and sugar to get chocolate milk or you have to peel potatoes to get French fries or it takes strawberries to make strawberry jam.
3. Don’t believe everything you hear or read: There is a lot of wrong information out there about agriculture. For example, I came across a “farm” lesson on the internet for children that stated all cows have horns. Not True!! I’ve even seen articles that claim the majority of farms in America are controlled by large corporations when actually more than 80% of farms are owned and operated by individuals or married couples. And beware of teenage farm boys! They may be trying to pull your leg. :)
Know your farmer, so that you can know your food and know the facts about how your food is safely and carefully produced for you. We, as farmers, love what we do, and we are more than happy to answer your questions.
Thankful I’m no longer that gullible teenage girl, 😊